My name is Madie, and in September, I joined EarthSpark’s Les Anglais team as their storyteller. For the past few months I have had the pleasure of collecting stories of the people of Les Anglais. But today I want to tell you the story of Les Anglais through my eyes.
I come from a small town in Australia. Like Les Anglais, it is a rural town, of approximately the same population, which is also a beacon of renewable energy innovation in its region. So in many ways, Les Anglais feels a home away from home.
Unlike my hometown, Les Anglais is bordered by a staggering mountain range, from which a river spills down to carve out the eastern border, finally meeting the beaches that wrap around the rest of the town. I have spent every week here in awe of nature’s beauty. But as you well know, nature can be fearsome. After seeing footage of Les Anglais prior to Hurricane Matthew, and walking past still roofless houses to the sparse markets, I came to realize not only what Les Anglais was and is, but also what it can be.
In my time here, we have welcomed two engineering firms who have all but completed the rebuild of the EarthSpark grid’s distribution system. Poles are repaired, and powerlines form a neat patchwork across the town). In the new year, we can complete our customers’ home installations with service drops from the distribution network, directly to their homes. With houses being rebuilt as fast as people can afford, both EarthSpark and our customers are impatient for the re-electrification that’s now almost within reach.
With one eye on the present, the other is firmly fixed on the future. Over the past weeks, I have accompanied the team to a town 45 minutes further down the road from Les Anglais: Tiburon. Setting operations for our first grid on the home stretch, our Director of Community Engagement is busy also working with the people of Tiburon for the pre-construction work needed to launch the grid in their town.
A year after EarthSpark’s inaugural grid was devastated, we have been given the opportunity to not only rebuild smarter and stronger, but to stride into 2018 ripe with the possibility of expansion. Your support has brought us this far, and for that we are endlessly grateful.
It has been my deepest pleasure, to not only hear, but share the hopes, dreams, and determination of the Les Anglais community. To see what your support has achieved, watch their stories on our Facebook or YouTube pages.
See what we do. Give what you can. Spark a revolution.
Assessing the proposed solar panel site in Tiburon
Power lines run above the solar array again!
Jefery from GEMSA admiring his colleagues' work